My blackberry foraging adventures plus garden bounty have left me, happily, with a fridge and freezer full of wild berries and I am always trying to discover new ways of using them.
I’ve had cheesecake on my ever growing list of treats to make for a very long time. I looked around and found an incredible array of vegan cheesecake recipes with wonderful nutty crusts and raw cashew fillings to the more traditional vegan cream cheese based cheesecakes.
I really wanted to go the baked cheesecake route. I’d never made a baked cheesecake, vegan or otherwise and was intrigued to see how it would work without the traditional reliance on eggs to help the baked set.
I also knew that for my first ever vegan and baked cheesecake, I wanted a really thick biscuit base which was always my favourite part! So, suffice to say that this is far from health food but I can assure you, it is love food – simply good for the mind and soul.
The filling sets beautifully, with no risk of cracking in sight. It is rich, just sweet enough with a slight tang and with a gorgeous aroma of vanilla that flecks through the white, creamy filling so delicately.
The syrup topping is a must, it cuts through the richness with berrylicious sweetness that simply completes the whole experience.
The best part – this was so easy, mix together, bake, cool, eat.
This was simply to die for.
- I like a high ratio of biscuit base to filling but if you prefer more filling to crust, reduce the base recipe by a third.
- If you would prefer a thicker cheesecake, use an 8 inch round tin, you may have to bake it for a few minutes longer.
- The cheesecake keeps well in the fridge, wrapped, for at least 5 days and can also be frozen.
Ingredients: Serves 12
- 300g (20) digestive biscuits (or graham crackers), crumbled
- 110g (1/2 cup) vegan margarine, melted
- 1 tbsp maple or agave syrup
- 450g (16oz/2 tubs) vegan plain cream cheese
- 65g (1/3 cup) unrefined caster sugar
- 4 egg substitutes, prepared (e.g orgran or ener-G)
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 150g (1 cup) fresh or frozen blackberries
- 2 tbsp maple or agave syrup
- 50g (1/3 cup) fresh or defrosted blackberries for topping
- 50g (1/3 cup) fresh cherries for topping
- Preheat the oven to 190’C/375’F and lightly grease a 9 inch loose bottomed round tin (or 8 inch for thicker cheesecake).
- In a food processor, blitz the biscuits into crumbs, add the margarine and syrup and blend to combine. Press into the base and a little up the side of the tin.
- In the same processor, blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg substitutes, vanilla, and lemon juice until creamy and smooth. Pour onto crust.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, until just set (doesn’t jiggle when you move the pan). Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature then place in refrigerator to chill for 12 hours.
- Make the topping about an hour before serving. Simply place the 150g (1 cup) of blackberries in a small pan with the syrup over a medium heat. Cook, stirring until syrup like, mashing the berries as you go to extract the juice. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Push through a sieve into bowl and leave to cool before pouring over the chilled cheesecake.
- Arrange the cherries and berries on top to serve.
Adapted from vegweb